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#617601 - 04/19/04 08:40 AM Re: electronic tuners- any recommendations?
perfectpitchpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 61
Loc: North Wilkesboro, NC
The beats are coming easier today, for some reason. Now, my problem is controlling the tempered 3rd of F3-A3 to beat a widened 4/sec. I'm always a little off... Oh well. Back at it, I suppose. It only gets easier with practice!
_________________________
Ryan Marlow
Certified Piano Technician beginning at age 18.

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#617602 - 04/19/04 02:29 PM Re: electronic tuners- any recommendations?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3280
Loc: Madison, WI USA
The beauty of the 18th Century style well temperament I sent you is that you don't have to get it perfect for it to work out and work out very well. You can be a little slow or a little fast on those 3rds, you can get the pure 5ths only approximately and the equal beating intervals kinda sorta pretty even and it will still be good but if you make those kinds of errors tuning ET, it won't be ET and it won't be pretty.

Keep at it.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#617603 - 04/19/04 07:09 PM Re: electronic tuners- any recommendations?
perfectpitchpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 61
Loc: North Wilkesboro, NC
You just made my day, Bill. That really relieves me a lot, knowing that I don't have to stress out about getting it EXACT. That's awesome. REALLY awesome. God bless the dude that invented this tempermant.
_________________________
Ryan Marlow
Certified Piano Technician beginning at age 18.

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#617604 - 04/19/04 09:46 PM Re: electronic tuners- any recommendations?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3280
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Well, thank you! Hopefully what you'll get out of this is one of the most important lessons of historical temperament study: you will know where to let your imperfections in ET be and have them work to your advantage rather than have randomly made errors work against you.

My next article for the PTG Journal was posted here but there seemed to be very little interest in it. However, for all those who really like the sound of pure 5ths in a temperament yet want to have ET like, even 3rds and 6ths but also not have them overly strained sounding, it should be an item of great interest. It is also one of the marvelous, equal beating temperaments which can easily be done with the same perfection as an ETD would provide. The other benefit is that most people think it has a "cleaner", more "in tune" sound than ET yet remains absolutely neutral in tonality the way ET does.

When you can get the hang of that 18th century style well temperament, I would recommend you study the "Marpurg" style quasi equal temperament because it is so much more easy to get it correct than real ET is. (And sounds better any way, so they say). All you'll need to do is practice getting contiguous 3rds right.

Here is what I'd suggest as an exercise:

1. Use your C fork if you have one or just estimate the pitch or leave it where it is presently and tune C4 to desired pitch.

2. Tune C3 to C4 to what simply sounds to you like a "pure" (beatless) octave. (You don't need to get fancier than that for this exercise).

3. Now tune E3, a widened 3rd from C3. I'm not going to even suggest a numerical beat rate because you will find the right rate after having made *estimates* and corrections to those estimates. Make a moderately pleasant "vibrato" like sound, that is close enough.

4. Now tune Ab(G#)3 a widened 3rd down from C4. This means you will have to flatten it from the point where it is pure. Again, tune it to a moderately pleasant vibrato. Make it be a little faster than the C3-E4 3rd.

5. Now listen to the resultant E3-G#3 3rd. If you got the first two right, the three 3rds would beat progressively faster ascending and progressively slower descending. These are the *contiguous* 3rds (meaning two 3rds sharing a common note). The ratio of beating is 4:5 (not beats per second, just a constant ratio) but all that needs to tell you is that the upper 3rd is just a *little* faster than the lower 3rd.

If any two 3rds beat the same, the relationship is incorrect. If the upper 3rd beats a *lot* faster, it is incorrect, certainly if the lower 3rd beats faster than the upper 3rd, the relationship is obviously and significantly incorrect.

6. Diagnosing and correcting your estimates:

Make an estimated correction of your largest error first. If you find a lower 3rd to be faster than an upper 3rd, flatten the middle note just until the upper 3rd now beats a little (but not a lot) faster than the lower 3rd.

Check all 3 again.

If you have two 3rds beating the same or almost the same, again, flatten the middle note just very slightly so that the upper 3rd beats just a little faster than the lower 3rd.

Check all 3 again.

If the lower two 3rds beat slower/faster but are only slightly different but the top 3rd beats *much* faster, sharpen the middle note of the upper two 3rds.

If the upper two 3rds beat slower/faster but are only slightly different but the bottom 3rd is *much* slower, sharpen the middle note of the bottom two 3rds.

Check all 3 again.

****************************************************************

You can see how that could be an infinite process in getting it right and in the end, it is. This is the prime example of that "Rule #1". It is far easier to know when the relationship is incorrect than to know when it is perfect." The reason the octave width didn't matter in this exercise is that the same relationship can be created and maintained within *any* width of octave. Sometimes, you may want all the justifiable stretch you can have, such as for a concert grand used in a piano concerto. Most of the time, you'd want what would be considered an optimum amount but you can also manipulate *any* temperament and whole sound of a piano by deliberately creating a minimal amount of stretch or even what one would call a "contracted" octave.

But when you are able to get 3 contiguous 3rds reasonably right from C3-C4, you'll be ready to try it from F3-F4. When you can do that, you are 90% there. If you can get just 5 notes reasonably right, F3-A3-C#4-F4-A4, the rest of the notes will fall right into place and you couldn't help but pass the PTG tuning exam. You also couldn't help but create a good sounding piano that doesn't bear the consequences of the most commonly made mistakes that technicians today do make.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#617605 - 04/20/04 08:13 AM Re: electronic tuners- any recommendations?
perfectpitchpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 61
Loc: North Wilkesboro, NC
Oh man. I completely forgot to ask these important questions. Should I be using the felt temp. strip while doing this 18th cent. temperemant? Also, what about the treble and bass sections? Am I to just stretch the treble on my own, and unisonize the bass? lol Is that a word, "unisonize"?
_________________________
Ryan Marlow
Certified Piano Technician beginning at age 18.

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